The Astros plan to designate Ryan Rowland-Smith for assignment Thursday, the team announced. The Astros signed Rowland-Smith to a deal that could have been worth $725K last December, but he didn't crack the team's Opening Day roster.
The 28-year-old Australia native posted a 6.75 ERA with 4.0 K/9, 3.6 BB/9 and a 37.1% ground ball rate last year before the Mariners non-tendered him. He missed time with a triceps injury in 2009 and a lower back strain in 2010.
The Astros' rotation is set with Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Bud Norris, J.A. Happ and Nelson Figueroa. The Astros will have ten days to outright Rowland-Smith to the minor leagues, trade him, or release him, assuming they go ahead with the DFA tomorrow. If outrighted, Rowland-Smith has the right to elect free agency.